Happy birthday, Buddha! Buddha’s birthday falls on April 30 this year. It’s widely celebrated in Asia. Hanging up lotus lanterns or floating them on a lake are common ways to celebrate, not to mention lion dancing in Japan. Since we won’t be lion dancing with friends or attending beautiful lantern festivals (#quarantinelife), here are some hilarious Buddhist memes to cheer up your Thursday. Let’s find out which one’s your favorite! Plus, scroll down for more interesting facts about the Buddhist Christmas.
And for the nerds out there, here are some more interesting facts about Buddha’s birthday.
When is Buddha’s birthday?
Buddha’s birthday is April 8 in the Asian lunar (lunisolar) calendar. Since the date follows a lunar calendar, it changes every year in the Gregorian calendar, usually falling in April or May. For instance, last year, Buddha’s birthday was May 12; this year, it’s April 30; next year, it’ll be May 19. Other countries keep it simple. Taiwan celebrates Buddha’s birthday on the second Sunday of May. Japan celebrates it on April 8 in the Gregorian calendar.
Buddha’s birthday is a public holiday in many Asian countries including India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and even North Korea. It’s also known as Visak or Vesak Day in some parts of the world.
What is Buddhism?
Buddhism is a religion that practices Buddha’s three basic teachings: The Three Universal Truths, The Four Noble Truths, and The Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhas was born Prince Siddhartha Gautama and later became the Gautama Buddha and founder of Buddhism. It’s interesting to note that Buddha was not a god. He never claimed to be a god, son of god or messenger of god.
How do people celebrate Buddha’s birthday?
People love to stroll around the Buddhist temple or attend lantern festivals on this day. It sounds superstitious but rumor has it that you shouldn’t consecrate Buddhist statues, file a lawsuit or open a business on this day.
In Sydney, you can find Buddha’s birthday celebrations at the Nan Tien Temple in Wollongong, featuring vegetarian food and culture stalls and multicultural performances. Another temple to look into is the Fo Guang Shan Nan Tien Temple.
Brisbane: The annual Buddha Birth Day Festival is a weekend-long festival involving pan-Asian food, performances and over 200,000 visitors.
Melbourne: A similar weekend festival is at Federation Square around April-May.
Perth: A Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival is at Langley Park.
On the Australian external territory of Christmas Island, residents celebrate Buddha’s Birthday as “Vesak Day” alongside many other celebrations common in Australia and Malaysia.
In Toronto, Vesak: Buddha’s Birthday festival at Mississauga Celebration Square features a number of Buddhist themed events and activities as well as cultural acts.
The United States
In New York, look for the International Lotus Lantern Parade at Union Square Park, celebrating Buddha’s birthday as well as a Korean lantern celebration.
Hawaii recognizes April 8 as Buddha Day, celebrating the birth of Buddha, since 1963.